"Lack of care for my son at Alexandra hospital"

About: Alexandra Hospital

(as a carer),

My son, who is 26 and has cerebral palsy, was a patient at our local hospital for 3 weeks in February. I took him to an appointment in Primary Care on the afternoon and the doctor phoned straight through to the assessment ward as she felt he needed to be admitted right away. They claimed there were no beds so we had to go to A&E first, as the doctor said he'd need something for his temperature then they would send us to the ward as soon as there was a bed. A&E were very busy, but saw my son as quick as they could and within 45 minutes we were on the way to the ward, he still had not been given anything for his temperature though. When we got there, there were 6 empty beds!! The nurses wouldn't give him anything and said he needed to be seen by a doctor first, after we had been on the premises for 4 hours I thought enough was enough so I gave him Paracetamol, his temperature was 39.9 and he was vomiting but had no treatment whatsoever for approx 5-6 hours.

He was admitted and moved to another ward where he was treated well, but then unfortunately after about a week he was moved to yet another ward where things deteriorated quickly. His first night on there 2 nurses were bordering on being abusive to him, they told him to be "a good little boy and not to use his buzzer", insisted he have a capsule despite him saying he could not swallow it and was promptly sick. The nurse pulled a face and walked away leaving him in the bed with vomit. Before this he had asked for a urine bottle and had accidentally spilt it on the bed, which was still wet as they did not change it. Instead they went away mocking him, making ridiculous comments, such as "why would anyone want to tip that on the bed". He was in a lot of pain, unable to get out of bed because of a drip and his wheelchair was not close enough anyway.

Following on the next day, he had a very poor shower (not even in a proper shower chair for the disabled, although there were plenty available in the sluice room) which resulted in him getting sore in the groin area, this was his only shower as he had bed baths for the next 2 weeks, which weren't always very thorough. His medication caused him to have severe diarrhoea, which added to the problem. I was given his dirty clothes to take home and wash, which was only rinsed through a couple of times, sometimes they were so dirty I was unable to wash them, what facilities do we have at home to cope with this? In retrospect, I should have asked if I could use the sluice room.

I complained about the 2 nurses to the senior nurse and things did improve, but he was still left too long waiting for assistance for toileting and for painkillers on several occasions.

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